Day of Reflection
Saturday began as a typical day would as I woke up to the same irritating alarm tone on my phone. As I turned off the alarm, I found myself scrolling through various social media apps in order to see what all of my friends had done on Friday night. After taking a moment to analyze the names of the active accounts on social media, I realized about seventy five percent of my friends had posted on atleast one social media application. The content of their posts almost seemed to resemble a competition as if they were saying, “Hey, look what I am doing!”
Next, my friends and I walked to Boulder to get our breakfast. Being parents weekend, breakfast at Boulder offered a great opportunity to observe the interactions between students and adults. Outside of Boulder, I followed a family walking together while talking. However, to my surprise, the student was not engaged in the conversation but rather looking at their phone as they walked. This was particularly disturbing to me as the parents had clearly traveled to see their child. To me, it is impossible to make a meaningful connection with other people over technology, and frustrating to talk to others when their phone is a distraction to the conversation.
Inside Boulder, we sat down to eat with my friend’s parents. I was amazed to hear my roommate that I have lived with for an entire year quickly develop a strong “Long Island” accent that both his parents share. Additionally, I was amused to notice the grammar and word choices of our whole group changed dramatically when speaking with adults. As soon as we left the parents and for the remainder of the day, the speech quickly transitioned back to what it bad been before.
As the day went on, I began to dread the “no technology” hour that I set aside for the 6pm. I am admittedly guilty of being too connected to my phone and computer, and I anticipated having a difficult time stepping away from it. The first ten minutes proved to be as difficult as I had imagined, as I wasn’t sure what to do. Technology is all around us and to truly get away from it meant leaving the apartment, so I decided to go on a walk. I completely lost track of time without my phone and found that my mind had begun to wander. Usually, I am texting friends or working on schoolwork on my laptop. As I left these distractions in the apartment, eventually, the worries I had about what my friends were doing or what work I had to do had left my mind. I actually began to notice things I hadn’t before, such as the birds chirping or wind on my face. By the time I came back to the apartment, I had been gone for an hour and a half. My roommates immediately noticed a difference in my attitude and I seemed much more relaxed.
Going in to the day, I was unsure how effective the examen practice would be. After an entire day of reflection, I realized I had learned a lot about myself and others. More specifically, I learned that whether we realize it or not, we often put on a façade to try to make others view us in a way that isn’t true to ourselves. Perhaps the root of this problem, however, is our modern culture, which is based on a reliance to our technology and an addition to connection with others. We want to project an image that our lives are always interesting and busy to fit in with everyone else. In the future, I encourage others take the opportunity in this fast-paced culture to take a moment to pick their head up, separate themselves from their technology, and reflect on themselves. I hope to occasionally try the “no technology” hour in the future.